"Jackals may be superior marksmen and they're very sneaky, but that doesn't make them excellent snipers - their a little too bloodthirsty for that."

-Annoymous UNSC Serviceman

The Kig-Yar (Forerunner designation, translated into Latin: Perosus Latrunculus or "hateful bandit", human designation: Covenant Secundarium Carnivora Procedonis, or Covenant secondary carnivorous combatant or simply "Jackal") are an avian species which serve the Covenant, as mercenaries and privateers. Before joining the Covenant, they were Pirates. There are two very distinct sub-species of Kig-Yar, both working for the Covenant which Humans have termed Jackals (The superior and greatest snipers of the race) and Skirmishers (The fastest and most deadly infantry). In combat, Kig-Yar typically serve as snipers and scouts within the Covenant due to their excellent senses of sight, smell and hearing.




Average Height:

5.9 Feet (1.8m), 6.2 feet (1.9m), 6.8 Feet (2.1m)


160 pounds (73 kg)

Skin Color:

Varying shades of brown/tan


Sinewy and Slender; avian features, large pale eyes, beaked head and teeth, clawed hands and feet, light brown pigmentation


Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet, Hologram Armor Ability


Covenant Empire, Covenant Loyalists, Kig-Yar Union, United Galactic Alliance

Notable Individuals:

Bok, Chur'R-Mut, Chur'R-Yar, Jak, Pirate Prince, Reth, Yeg, Zhar

Other nomenclature:

Buzzard, Chicken, Giant Chicken, Jackal, Turkey, Tree-Turkey, Vulture, Bird Food, Skirmisher


The Ark and ReseedingEdit

The Kig-Yar were one of the many species indexed by the Librarian and preserved on Installation 00 from the firing of the Halo Array. They were subsequently returned to their homeworld, where they began rebuilding their culture.

Pre-Covenant HistoryEdit

During their early history, Kig-yar society was divided into clans that sailed across Eayn's seas as pirates, raiding the encampments and settlements of rival clans. Eventually, the clans united, and the Kig-Yar species worked together in developing space-travel technology. Shortly afterward, they established colonies on small asteroids around Chu'ot. Some Kig-Yar continued their ancient ways of life and became pirates once more, preying upon merchant starships. These groups of Pirates were the Kig-Yar's only effective response to the overwhelming Covenant Military juggernaut that arrived in Kig-Yar space in 1342 AD.

The CovenantEdit

The war between the Covenant and Kig-Yar forces culiminated in sieges of redoubts on the asteroids surrounding their homeworld. Eventually, in order to survive, they accepted Letters of Marque: commissions from the Ministry of Tranquility to engage in the services of the Covenant, though often this was merely used as an excuse to continue plundering lifestyle. The Kig-Yar would spend much of their time preying on the ships of the Covenant's enemy, Humanity.

Kig-Yar are around the same level as the Unggoy in the Covenant hierarchy, although the Kig-Yar despise the Unggoy and believe themselves to be superior. This reached a boiling point in 2462, when some Kig-Yar in High Charity attempted to poison Infusions, recreational narcotics which the Unggoy enjoyed, which would have left the Unggoy sterile, in retaliation for the Unggoy encroaching on their habitats and displacing Kig-Yar nests. Although a junior staffer in the Ministry of Concert found evidence of this, the High Council failed to properly investigate the incident, culiminating in the Unggoy Rebellion.

A Kig-Yar missionary ship, the Minor Transgression, was the first Covenant vessel to make contact with Humanity. The ship raided a commericial freighter leaving the planet Harvest, and the events that followed would later lead to full-scale military action on the part of Humanity and the Covenant.

Following the outbreak of the Human-Covenant War, a group of Kig-Yar under Reth made contact with the Rubble, a community of Human survivors from the glassing of Madrigal. The Kig-Yar agreed to trade Covenant weaponry in exchange for slipspace drives. Although the Humans believed the Kig-Yar were defying the Covenant authority, they were in fact secretly proceeding with the blessing of the High Prophet of Truth to use weapons to map UNSC space and learn the location of Earth. They also built an army of hundreds and thousands of Unggoy. The plan fell apart during due to the High Prophet of Regret sending Sangheili warriors to investigate the weapons, believing the Kig-Yar to be heretics. In the Battle of the Rubble and the Battle of Metisette, Reth and his forces were killed by Spartan-II Gray Team and the crew of the UNSC Midsummer Night.

Eventually, when the Great Schism erupted, the Kig-Yar sided with the Covenant Loyalists. The Great Schism later concluded that year, with the Kig-Yar defeated and returning to their piracy tradition.


They later set up a peace treaty with the URF on Venezia, and began trade with them. Eventually this trade was cut off when Venezia was invaded by the UNSC. Later the Kig-Yar Union was established and became the official Kig-Yar government, and abolished piracy. They later became a civilized race but a rebel faction known as the Anti-Kig-Yar Freedom Movement made life difficult for them. Eventually in 2634, they joined the United Galactic Alliance and became head of the branch of Intelligence.


Anatomy and PhysiologyEdit


A closeup on a Jackal's face

Kig-yar have features similar to birds of prey as well as reptiles. Their legs are sinewy and muscular, and are reverse-jointed in a similar fashion to birds. They have sharp claws on both hands and feet. Being carnivores, their sharp beaks are lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth; some have far more numerous teeth which bear a passing resemblance to baleen. Kig-yar have been known to eat the flesh of fallen enemies, as well as live prisoners. Kig-yar have extraordinary senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Male Kig-yar possess plumages of spiny quills at the back of the head and on the elbows; the color of this plumage indicates the Kig-yar's mood. Females lack these quill plumages, instead having calloused plates at the forearms and the rear of the head. This thick skin helps protect the female during courtship: when mating, the male will often bite, chew, and tear on the back of the female's head, neck, and arms. Kig-yar reproduce by laying eggs which the female incubates, similar to birds. When mating, the male can choose to fertilize the egg, in which a male is produced, whereas, if the eggs are not fertilized, a female is produced. This may imply that Kig-yar have the ability to reproduce without mating.

While Kig-yar have hollow bones and are physically frail, they are capable of moving quickly to evade harm. Their blood is bright purple in color, similar to that of the Sangheili, possibly showing a similar chemical makeup. The lack of calcium in their skeletons makes them a poor source of biomass for the Flood. Thus, Kig-yar that are infected by the Flood are typically turned into carrier forms rather than combat forms. However, they have been utilized as combat forms during at least one engagement.

The Kig-yar species is divided into at least two subspecies: the lighter "Jackals" and the more muscular "Skirmishers". Each subspecies exhibits distinct variations in appearance and physiology. Jackals typically exhibit light brown or tan skin tones, though some individuals feature gray-green or red skin. flexible quills on the head and forearms among males, with calloused plates among females; and elongated, beaked heads with bulbous eyes, though some Jackals have heads akin to those of the Skirmishers. Skirmishers are darker in color, with true feathers on their heads and arms, and have shorter, squared heads with small yellow eyes. While both subspecies are quite agile, Skirmishers are capable of sprinting at great speeds and leaping incredible distances.

The reason behind the differing subspecies is unknown, though it has been theorized that it may be a result of the Kig-yar adapting to different colony worlds over millenia. Alternatively, they may simply be variations that arose naturally on Eayn, much as early humanity was once divided into many species and subspecies.


The Kig-yar are unique among Covenant races: rather than being faithful followers of the Prophets' religion, they serve the Covenant due to the monetary rewards the Prophets pay them. However, due to the long time they
830px-Ancient KigYar

Eayn during the Forerunner Era

have been in the Covenant, a large number of them have accepted the Covenant religion. Kig-yar have been known to coexist relatively peacefully with humans, as evidenced by the relationship between the Rubble and Reth's forces on Metisette. When the Kig-yar were finally ordered by the Prophets to attack and destroy the humans of the Rubble, many of them even regretted the order. This is likely due to the pragmatic, mercantile culture of their race: As long as it benefits them economically, Kig-yar will co-operate with nearly any group, even declared enemies of the Covenant.

Role within the CovenantEdit

Kig-yar serve primarily as light infantry, police forces and overseers. Kig-yar privateers also commonly crew Covenant missionary ships, such as the Minor Transgression. Originally, they were intended to replace the Unggoy as the foot soldiers of the Covenant, but their temperament made this impractical. Instead, they were assigned roles that were better suited to their natural abilities, such as scouts and snipers.

Within Covenant society, Kig-yar have little status and are subservient to all but the Unggoy. Because of this, Kig-yar frequently harass Unggoy to assert what little authority they have. In some cases, Sangheili or Jiralhanae dispose of criminals or prisoners by feeding them to Kig-yar convicts, who eat the victim alive.

Due to their unique position in the Covenant, the Kig-yar often utilize starships of their own making instead of Covenant-made ones. In addition, they are forbidden to build their own slipspace drives, and have to rely on heavily regulated, unmodifiable drives engineered by the San 'Shyuum instead The Kig-yar are not represented on the High Council but are instead vetted by the Ministry of Concert. The Kig-yar do not vocally complain about their position but instead have selected to siphon off resources to their brethren. Whether the Covenant leadership was aware of this is currently unknown.


The Kig-Yar government on Eayn is a post-industrial capitalist system, with a population of 978 Million. It is also described as a ochlocracy, a system of government best described as a government or a mob, or the intimidation constitutional authorities. Presumably, this implies that whatever form of local government that the Kig-Yar possess is ineffective and ignored.


685px-Kig-Yar Phalanx Halo 3- ODST

Kig-Yar fighting in a pack

Kig-Yar names usually consist of a single-syllable, with two consonants and one vowel, such as Yeg, Jak and Bok. However, Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut, who were both Shipmistresses, have multiple syllables in their names. It is speculated that the Kig-Yar naming system is at least partially based on sex, rank or both. However, their naming system might not be the one of their own culture; it has been stated that the Sangheili do not allow the Kig-Yar to have more than one name. Alternatively, it may be that the Kig-Yar language consists of single syllable words (their name for themselves, Kig-Yar, actually is two single syllable words combined).

The prefix "Chur'R-" is believed to indicate the title of Shipmistress, as both Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut were female Kig-Yar in command of a vessel.


Eayn is the homeworld of the Kig-Yar species and is the primary satellite of the planet Chu'ot. It is characterized by its single equatorial ocean, sparse volcanism, and almost total lack of glaciation. Only about one-third of all Kig-Yar who still reside in the Y'deio system call Eayn their home; many have chosen to live among the minor planets within the asteroid belt since their initial contact with the Covenant. However, it is theorized that the Kig-Yar have colonized many other planets, due to their pyschological diversity.

Rank StructureEdit


Jackal MinorEdit

The rank of Minor is the lowest field rank a Jackal can attain. They are armed with standard-strength, light blue point defense gauntlets and small arms such as the plasma pistol or needler.

Minors are usually lead by Majors or higher ranked Kig-Yar personnel, or at times Sangheili or Jiralhanae. They can sometimes lead around Unggoy.


Jackal MajorEdit

Major Jackals are more experienced than Minors and are issued stronger point-defense gauntlets that emit violet-colored shield post Great Schism and an orange or red-colored pre Great Schism. They typically carry plasma pistols and needlers.

Majors usually lead Minors and Unggoy and are lead by Sangheili or Jiralhanae.


Jackal MarksmanEdit

Marksman Jackals are the Covenant's foremost long-range combatants. They are known to carry weapons such as needle rifles and beam rifles, but do not use point-defense gauntlets as to better wield their weapon. In Halo 2, when the player approaches them, they are known to drop their beam rifle and run away.

                           They usually work alone.

461px-Jackal Rangers

Jackal RangerEdit

Jackal Rangers are trained for zero-G EVA combat, and are equipped with vacuum suits and magnetic boots. They have never been encountered on the battlefield, but rather during boarding operations or anti-boarding operations.

Jackal ZealotEdit

Little is known of the Kig-Yar Zealot's role. The only known Kig-Yar Zealot is Zhar. As with Sangheili Zealots, they are presumably tasked with missions of religious importance to the Covenant, such as artifact retrieval.


  • The Kig-Yar are the first of the Covenant species to be fought by humans. Staff Sergeants Avery Junior Johnson and Nolan Bryne fought and killed two of them in the skirmish on Minor Transgression pre-First Battle of Harvest. Later, they became the first Covenant species encountered by the SPARTAN-II's aboard Unrelenting at Chi Ceti IV.
  • The name "Jackal" comes from a wild dog that is similiar to the coyote, and is a reference to their scavenger appearence in nature.
  • "Kig-Yar" is Breton for "chicken" and Phonetic Welsh for "chicken meat."
  • Kig-Yar have 28 teeth.
  • Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut are the only known female Kig-Yar, and were also the first two female Covenant characters to appear in Halo canon.
  • Although Jackals carry grenades in Halo 2, they are never seen using them. This is possibly because of the fact that, in terms of game mechanics, they "dual-wield" their energy shield with whatever other weapon they are carrying.
  • In all games prior to Halo Reach, all Jackals shoot left-handed and are the only Covenant species to do so. However in Halo Reach, Jackals shoot right-handed and carry their shields left-handedly.
  • Kig-Yar possess a strong salty, ocassionally acrid stench.
  • Occassionally, Jackals can be seen without their bright spines on their heads. Canonically, these would likely be females because according to Halo: Contact Harvest the females do not have spines and instead have colloused plates, this appearence is probably the result of a glitch.
  • In-game, Jackals do not use melee attacks, because, as said above, in game mechanics, they are technically dual-wielding.
  • Jackals are never seen driving vehicles in-game although in the books they are capable of doing such.
  • The Kig-Yar species may be related to Sangheili, as they are similiar build and similiar colored blood, although this is extremely unlikely.
  • In Dr.Halsey's diary, she does not understand the nickname "Jackal", because of a bigger resemblance to a reptile than a mammal.
  • Small numbers of Kig-Yar rebelled against the Covenant Loyalists in the Great Schism.


  • In Halo: The Fall of Reach, Kig-Yar blood is said to be blue, despite its actual purple color.
  • The first time Jackals make their appearence in the halo series is on Halo: Combat Evolved's level Halo due to the Covenant's distrust of Jackal's boarding ships because of their pirate reputations. However, in Halo: The Flood, they are said to have boarded the Pillar of Autumn in the initial assault.


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